Night Race 3 Action
The 8.8km night race followed a loop to the West of Ilhanti, taking in the magnificent and remote hills of this truly stunning valley. The route included a large section of exclusive property, complete with a 150+ year old Ox wagon trail. I doubt, back then, locals could have imagined a bunch of hardy trail runners racing along their wagon route.
The pace was hot up front and only one second separated leading runners. Hennie Havenga held on for the win in 35:42, and Johnny Young was hot on his heels. Eduan Need finished third in 37:08. Christelle Theron held onto a 26 second lead over Minke Kruger, finishing in 43:24. Junior runner Chloe-Anne Burns came in third place, in 45:18. Batman Mulder and Evelina Alexandrov won their respective veteran categories, as did Tim Laurens and Mari van der Westhuizen.
The junior competition was dominated by speedster Patrick Colborne, who came in ninth overall, in 40:10. Chloe-Anne Burns took second place and Patrick Kisbey-Green third. Keegan Dally pipped his twin brother Jason by a second at the line, in 45:29. Martin Dijkhuis came in third. Kyle and Scott Farnham were the only ‘Peewee’ runners, with older brother Kyle (aged 10) taking the win, in 50:15.
Sunday’s Race 4 Finale
Sunday’s action started with three routes – the 25km XL, the 16km Championship (long) and a 7.3km Challenge (short). The start of the XL got underway a little later than planned, after the crew scrambled to adjust a last minute route change (the 25km XL became a 22.8km).
Elite trail runner Dirk Cloete got off to a fast start and, despite a hamstring causing some issues around the 6km mark, cruised home to a 1:43:02 victory, three minutes ahead of second placed Eduan Neeb – who was no doubt feeling the effects of the 8.8km night run. Ray Orchison ran in third in 1:49:17. In the ladies race, Christelle Theron took line honours, in 2:11:56, just under a minute ahead of Joanne Burns, who came in second. Chloe Anne Burns came third in 2:16:51. Eric and Elize Dodds won their respective master categories in 3:03:59 and 3:03:53.
Gumbo wins his first Championship
Tranquil Gumbo made short work of the 16km Championship course, notching up his fourth win in a row to take the 2012 GSTS Championship title. He blasted around the course in 1:06:32, finishing just shy of 5 minutes ahead of second placed Francois Pretorius. Andries van der Vyver came in third, in 1:15:10. Anita O’Brian finished off her 2012 Championship bid with finesse, completing a hat trick of wins to take the title. Anita won the final race in 1:23:21, Clare Walker came in second, in 1:26:07, and Minke Kruger came in third, in 1:36:04. Mark Bilbrough won the final race in the men’s veteran category, in 1:23:36 – just two seconds clear of Trevor Locker, who came in second place.
This wasn’t enough to take the Championship from Locker however, with Bilbrough just two points behind. Evelina Alexandrov won the veteran ladies race in 1:32:30, Antoinette Oosthuizen came in second place and Tanya Worner in third. Tim Laurens and Mari van der Westhuizen won their respective Masters category races in 1:28:00 and 1:37:31, as well as their respective Championship categories.
5 seconds separates top two in Challenge
The 2012 GSTS Challenge, presented by Spur was one hot potato. It could not have got any more dramatic than in the 6-10 year old ‘Peewee’ category between arch rivals (and good friends) Kyle Farnham and Bradey Thomas. Farnham had to put just three seconds between him and Thomas to steal the win from his friend. Taking the win, Farnham immediately turned to watch the finish line and count the seconds as his friend approached. But he had done enough, finishing seven seconds ahead and five seconds clear to take the 2012 Peewee Challenge title.
Romeo Nkomo was the fastest runner around the 7.3km route, winning in a time of 27:35. Ketu Malesu came in second place, in 28:32 and John Naicker in third place, in 30:50. Marlie Klopper won the ladies race in 35:06 with Debra Kidd in second place and Jen da Silva in third. Richard Bewsley and Clare Schilpolt won their respective veteran category races, as did Karl and Julie Bayes. Keegan Dally secured his victory in the 10-14 year old ‘Minimee’ category, and Martin Dijkhuis came in second place. Thapelo Nthite won the Junior race in 31:38, with Jevian Serekuame in second place and Greg Roxburgh in third.
For more results and the full report, visit: www.trailseries.co.za
Photographs courtesy of Patrick Black and Anton Steenkamp